INDIAN CONCEPT OF JUSTICE: CONSTITUTIONAL IMPERATIVES

AUTHOR: Shivam Srivastava,

4th year law student,

Ideal institute of Management & Technology(School of Law)

GENERAL CONCEPT OF JUSTICE

A Simple example of idea of Justice is the Aristotle’s saying that “Treat likes alike and different ones differently. Universal Justice means regard for law, and requirement of life in society. Justice is defined in terms of Moral Ideas i.e. with reference to equality, liberty, or economic freedom. Justice is ever changing and ever growing, can’t be defined in a strict sense like others.

JUSTICE ACCORDING TO INDIAN LAW

PRE-CONSTITUTIONAL / ANCIENT INDIA

There were pre-constitutional laws and dharma prevailing in India during the ancient times or the time when the constitution was not brought into effect.

POST-CONSTITUTIONAL ERA

Constitution represents the will of the people in Part – III, Part – IV and preamble which holds the value of Justice.

SUPREMACY OF CONSTITUTION

In India, the supremacy of constitution prevails. In a case, the court observed that “under the Constitution of India the ultimate authority is given to courts to restrain all exercise of absolute and arbitrary powers.1

Court has also prefaced its remarks as “The King is under no man but God and the Law”.2

RULE OF LAW

Supreme Court has observed that no one in this country is above the law. It is ‘Rule of Law’ not ‘Rule of Men’. Rule of Law permits no one to claim to be above the law and it means “be you ever so high, the law is above you”.3

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PRINCIPLE OF NATURAL JUSTICE

Principles of Natural Justice are considered as Basic Human Rights because they attempt to bring justice to parties naturally. Natural Justice is another name for common sense justice. It is procedural in nature and also aims to ensure delivery of justice to parties.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court has said that Aim of Natural Justice is to secure Justice, or (to put it negatively) to prevent miscarriage of Justice. It operates only in areas that law does not cover. It supplant law and supplement the law as well.4

The principles of Natural Justice are:

  1. Nemo Debet Esse Judex In Propria Causa meaning No person can be a judge in his own case.

The first minimal requirement of the Natural Justice is that the Authority giving decisions must be impartial and acting fairly. It is necessary that the judge is unbiased. There can be many types of bias such as Pecuniary Bias, Personal Bias and Official Bias. The objective of this rule is to ensure public confidence in the impartiality of the adjudicatory process.

Hearing must be by an impartial i.e. person who is neither directly nor indirectly interested in the case.5

  1. Audi Aulteram Partem meaning Listen to the other side.

This principle implies that person must be given a fair opportunity to defend himself. It means no one shall be condemned unheard. Also, it is very necessary that no one should be judged without a fair hearing and thereby shall be given opportunity to respond to the evidence against them by producing all the facts and evidences in the knowledge of the court in the favour of their own.

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This rule is expressed through two maxims; i.e. Hear the other side, and No man should be condemned unheard (also known as rule of fair hearing).

CONSTITUTIONAL IMPERATIVES

CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE PRINCIPLES OF NATURAL JUSTICE

  • Article – 14

This article guarantees – equality before law and equal protection of law within the territory of India. It binds the State to ensure that there is no discrimination being practiced in the nation. It includes the principle of Rule of Law.

  • Article – 15(1)

It prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, gender or place of birth. It is duty of the state to make special provisions for women and children, and advancement of any social and educationally backward classes if citizens, and Schedule Caste & Schedule Tribe peoples.

  • Article – 21

No person shall be deprived of his right to life and personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law.

  • Article – 22

It gives special rights to arrested person in certain cases which within its ambit contain very valuable element if Natural Justice.

  • Article – 32 and 226

It collectively provides for Constitutional Remedies for violation of Fundamental Rights and Legal Rights. They can be exercised by issuing appropriate Writ, Direction and Orders.

CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION RELATING TO SOCIAL JUSTICE

  • Article – 19

It states many Fundamental Rights for the citizens if country. Seven clauses of Article 19(1) guarantee the citizens seven different kinds of freedom. Article – 19, when considered as a whole, furnishes a very satisfactory and rational basis for adjusting the claims of the individual rights of freedom and the claims of public good.

  • Article – 23 and 24
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It contemplates the Right against Exploitation. Article 24,particularly, prohibits employer from employing child of less than 14 years of age in any factory or mine or in any other Hazardous Employment.

  • Article – 38

State to secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people by effecting Social, Economic and Political Justice.

  • Article – 39A

State shall secure the operation of Legal System promotes Justice in a basis of equal opportunity and Free Legal Aid be provided to ensure that opportunities of securing Justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities.

  • Article – 41

Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases.

  • Article – 46

It emphasizes in the importance of the promotion of Educational and Economic Interests of SCs/STs and other weaker sections.

CONCLUSION

There is no doubt that though the courts have always attached very great importance to preservation of human liberties, no less importance has been attached to some of the DPSPs in Part IV. The core of the commitment to Social Revolution lies I. Parts III and IV.6

The Right to Social and Economic Justice is also a Fundamental Right.7

1 AIR1956 SC 231

2 1990 SCR Supl. (3) 259

3 1993 SCR (1) 769

4 Writ Petition Nos. 173 to 175 of 1967

5 (1959) ILLJ 464 All

6 1980 AIR 1789

7 1992 AIR 573

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